This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

June 4, 2010

Using Photoshop for precious old photos

Old photos are precious. You know that sunlight can damage them. But it's a terrible shame to leave them in a drawer, hidden away. These images are meant to be enjoyed. And you can do it, with Photoshop. What you will need is, besides Photoshop, of course, is a scanner (an ordinary inexpensive one will do), a printer and photo paper. And some self-control, which is the point of this post.

Even handled with care, photos and prints that are over 100 years old will probably show their age. When you display them, it's OK for them to look old. They are! So, keep those "image manipulation" tools held in check. Obviously, if there is a nasty tear, or marks from tape, you should touch those up, but other wise, please leave the image alone.

Be sure your scanner is set to capture high resolution. I would recommend 300 ppi*, which is twice what is actually necessary for a decent print. Going higher is just a waste of file size, disk space and time.

You will need photo paper, which is available at Walmart, or just about anywhere. Feed the paper into your printer one page at a time. In the print menu, select "scale to fit media" and the image will fit perfectly on the paper.

Then find an inexpensive frame (believe it or not, the frame in the photo is a cheap plastic one I found at a garage sale), hang it up on your wall and enjoy! And preserve the original photos by storing them.

* You still will hear the term "dpi" used, which is the old-fashioned term meaning "dots per inch". When people use this, they mean "ppi" (pixels per inches). In Photoshop, if you are looking for dots here, you won't find them, they are pixels.

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